Buffalo Bills News - October 13, 2000

Marker Buffalo's top pick Flowers more than a wallflower [5:07 AM]
D and C reports: '"Erik had a little problem with his heel to start the season, but he's fine now and I'm pleased with him," said Phillips. "He's very quick off the ball, he's shown that." What he hasn't shown is the ability to sack quarterbacks that led the Bills to use the 26th overall pick in the draft to select him. "Erik has a ways to go yet," said 10-year veteran defensive end Phil Hansen, who has been sort of a mentor to the 22-year-old rookie ever since Flowers ended his brief training camp holdout and reported to St. John Fisher College in late July. "He's improving each week, but he has to understand this is a professional level."'

Marker Turnovers are cooking the Chargers [5:04 AM]
AP reports: 'Every time the San Diego Chargers run on the field, a couple of turnovers by the quarterbacks are practically guaranteed, usually with disastrous results. They've committed 14 so far this season, including 12 interceptions, which is the biggest reason they're 0-6 with no apparent relief in sight. Since the start of the 1998 season -- Leaf's rookie year -- Chargers quarterbacks have churned out more turnovers than your average bakery.'

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October 12, 2000

Marker Dolphins 22, Bills 13: A Bad Plan Gone Awry [11:05 PM]
Buffalo Post reports: 'Sunday's most indelible image should be Buffalo's left tackle, John Fina, standing over Miami defensive end Jason Taylor, who in turn was lying on top of Bills quarterback Rob Johnson. You could also substitute Robert Hicks or Marcus Spriggs for Fina and Dolphins rush specialist Trace Armstrong for Taylor.'

Marker Rookie Gets It Right And Wrong [11:03 PM]
Buffalo Post reports: 'It's kind of the same as last week, almost like we're on a roller-coaster of emotions," said Morris, referring to the Bills last-second loss to Indianapolis. "We got a high point and then all of a sudden we got a big, hard low point.'

Marker Johnson still close to life with Riley [8:19 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Johnson, the Bills' quarterback, sympathizes with the fact that Riley, the Chargers head coach, is winless. But with Buffalo having lost three straight, Johnson's concerns are selfish, despite the Chargers' 0-6 start. Their friendship dates back to Johnson's final three seasons at USC when he was the Trojans' quarterback and Riley was offensive coordinator.'

Marker Now playing: musical quarterbacks [8:17 PM]
North Country Times reports: 'Thus far in the 2000 season, the Chargers have proved they can't win with Ryan Leaf taking the bulk of the snaps. Or Moses Moreno. Or Jim Harbaugh. The simple solution? Don't give a majority of the playing time to anybody.'

Marker Chargers to play dueling quarterbacks in Buffalo [1:34 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'In a move that was both firm and indecisive, coach Mike Riley said yesterday that both Jim Harbaugh and Moses Moreno will play Sunday at Buffalo. Harbaugh will start and work the first quarter. Moreno will play the second. After that, Riley is unsure. "I haven't made any plans for the second half," he said. "I'm just going to leave it alone right now."'

Marker To RBs, losing streak is really hair-raising [1:33 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'If you want to know how long it has been since the Chargers won a game, don't bother with the standings in the newspaper. Just look at hair on the running backs' heads. Several of San Diego's running backs have pledged not to cut their hair until the team gets a win. Suffice it to say it's a good thing the Afro is back in style, what with the Chargers 0-6 and having no apparent gimmes on the schedule.'

Marker Listen up [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Sunday's 1 p.m. match of the Bills against San Diego is scheduled be heard at the buffalobills.com and yahoo.com Web sites.'

Marker Pendry: Upturn is near [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We're going to get better," Pendry said Wednesday as the team prepared for Sunday's meeting with the San Diego Chargers. "Everybody has to grow, and we have to make plays. That's the bottom line. "I would be extremely discouraged," Pendry said, "if we were making no first downs in the game, if we were three-and-out every game, or even worse, if we were throwing interceptions or fumbling. But we're not making turnovers. "I feel like this offense is moving the ball, but the consistency factor must be better, and when we have a chance to make a touchdown play, we're not making it," Pendry said.'

Marker A little Flutie might do a lot right about now [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'So when Phillips suggested he might use Flutie in an unconventional fashion this year, as a change of pace, it was hard to take him seriously. It's too radical a concept in the ultra-conservative football coaching fraternity. But the time has come for him to consider it.'

Marker Players air out feelings at meeting [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills players were optimistic Wednesday that a players-only team meeting that was held this week would help improve the team's mental attitude after three straight losses. "I don't think all team meetings are always effective," said quarterback Rob Johnson. "But the team meetings here have been really good. You've got guys like Henry Jones and Phil Hansen talking. Doug (Flutie) talked. You get veterans like that who've played a lot and hopefully the young guys will listen."'

Marker Chargers to rotate Harbaugh, Moreno at QB [7:21 AM]
AP reports: 'In a move similar to an exhibition game, San Diego Chargers quarterbacks Jim Harbaugh and Moses Moreno will each play a quarter in the first half Sunday at Buffalo. This isn't the exhibition season, though. The games are real, the Chargers have lost all six of theirs and are desperate for a win heading into their bye week. Harbaugh, coming off a three-interception day, will start. Moreno, who hasn't played since hurting his right shoulder on Sept. 17, will play the second quarter.'

Marker He's not Anto-whine [6:33 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"I just have to approach it the same way," said Smith, who requested the Bills trade him after he was demoted to third string after three unproductive games. "It didn't happen for me. I would like to be somewhere where I have the opportunity to play, but I have to make the best of it."'

Marker Bills rally round Rob [6:31 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"He's a competitor and a great leader," Linton said. "We have to protect him. We need him for the season." Backup quarterback Doug Flutie, who saw his first action of the year during the final three minutes of the Dolphins game, agreed. "(Johnson) has taken some shots, you don't want to see the guy you work with get beat up like that," Flutie said. "He's playing (this Sunday) like anybody would. If I could barely walk on the field, I'm playing. That's just the way it is, you go until you can't go anymore."'

Marker Johnson to start for Bills [6:30 AM]
AP reports: 'While listed as probable, Johnson and coach Wade Phillips said there's no question that Johnson will start against San Diego on Sunday. "I tested it," Johnson said. "It's one of those things where it gets better as the week goes on. ... It's just one of those things." The question is how much more of a licking he can take.'

Marker Baffled Bills look to one another for answers [5:05 AM]
D and C reports: '"This is not a losing program in Buffalo," first-year starter Keion Carpenter said. "They're used to winning in Buffalo and when you come here, you have to uphold that tradition. The older guys called a meeting and kind of challenged us to step up. We have to do whatever it takes on Sunday. "Guys said what they had to say, spoke about what was on their minds. I think that gave us a spark. I can sense the difference the way guys are walking in the locker room and I sensed a little more concentration on the practice field. It was definitely meaningful."'

Marker Smith bristles amid confusion [5:03 AM]
D and C reports: '"It didn't happen for me," he said. "I'd like to be somewhere where I have the opportunity to be out there playing, but I'm here now and I'll make the best of it."'

October 11, 2000

Marker Confusion abounds as Smith disappointed he's still in Buffalo [8:18 PM]
AP reports: 'News of Smith's trade request arose Tuesday when agent Scott Casterline told The Buffalo News that he was trying to get Smith dealt before that day's NFL trading deadline. The trouble is, as Smith pointed out after practice Wednesday, that he fired Casterline about six months ago and is now represented by Herb Rudolph. Smith, however, didn't hang around long enough to explain why Casterline might have been speaking for him.'

Marker Bills try to fix what's broken in return game [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills are at the point of no return. They rank dead last in punt returns. They rank second from the bottom in kickoff returns. But special teams coach Ronnie Jones doesn't think those stats will reflect the performance the Bills will turn in Sunday against the winless San Diego Chargers in Ralph Wilson Stadium. "We're going to get it fixed," Jones said. "I expect us to break out this week and have a good day. I expect to see a lot of improvement this week. "I like what I'm coming up with after watching film. I think I've drawn up a play that gives us a good chance at a big return this week."'

Marker For Smith, all systems are not 'go' [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I think there's confusion among the coaching staff," [Antowain Smith's agent Scott] Casterline said. "Some people want Antowain and some people don't. I don't see a resolution unless he plays somewhere else or until there's a coaching change. "As long as there's certain coaches on the staff, Antowain's best future won't be with the Buffalo Bills, which is too bad because he enjoys the town and his teammates."'

October 10, 2000

Marker Playoffs are far from a lock for Bills [9:29 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '...their 0-3 division record virtually dooms them to a wild-card spot and a berth in the post-season is hardly guaranteed.'

Marker Smith stays with Bills as NFL trade deadline passes [9:22 PM]
AP reports: 'Running back Antowain Smith didn't get his wish granted as he remains a member of the Buffalo Bills after the NFL trading deadline struck on Tuesday. A Bills spokesman said no deals had been made after the 4 p.m. deadline passed.'

Marker Smith asks Bills to trade him [4:18 PM]
AP reports: 'Bills' spokesman Scott Birchtold withheld comment. "There's nothing there," he said. "Why would we want to comment on it?"'

Marker Agent asks Bills to deal Antowain [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '[Antowain Smith's agent Scott] Casterline said the Bills told him in May that Smith would be the featured back in the offense. "I flew out there specifically to find out what his role was going to be and what their expectations for him were," Casterline said. "Wade and John told me he was the go-to guy, their franchise back. I feel like I was lied to. "Antowain has been patient and has never complained in his career. He has been a team player. He played hurt on a painful turf toe last year. He needs to be traded."'

Marker Sack artist enjoys feast vs. Bills' RTs [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'There was a lot of blame to go around from tight end to weak-side tackle. But two particular offensive linemen will be among the first to stand up and accept responsibility for mistakes made in Miami: right tackles Robert Hicks and Marcus Spriggs.'

Marker Bills need fixes before playoffs become pipedream [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It's time for Fina and Ruben Brown to start justifying those hefty contracts they received during the offseason. It's time for Hicks to live up to his potential. It's time for Spriggs, Jerry Ostroski, Jamie Nails and Joe Panos to raise their games up several notches.'

Marker Johnson seeing fewer stars a day later [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'When asked if he could use another bye week, Johnson replied, "I'd much rather go through a couple games not . . .," and then stopped himself before talking about the number of hits he's received. "Let the body recoup a little bit." Doug Flutie's legion of fans were excited to see the backup quarterback replace Johnson Sunday. They also might think it would be the perfect week to start Flutie and give Johnson a break. The San Diego Chargers are the closest thing to a bye week. They enter Sunday's game at Ralph Wilson Stadium at 0-6, the worst record in the NFL.'

Marker Chargers could shuffle QBs heading into Buffalo [7:36 AM]
AP reports: 'An ineffective Jim Harbaugh or a recuperating Moses Moreno? San Diego Chargers coach Mike Riley must pick one as his starting quarterback for Sunday's game at Buffalo. "Let me think about that for a day," Riley said on Monday when asked who would start against the Bills. "I don't want to jump to conclusions too much."'

Marker Phillips needs to admit it: Bills not ready yet [5:06 AM]
D and C reports: 'His team is good, this I do not doubt, nor should he. But this year, it's probably not good enough to make the playoffs, so I wish Phillips would stop trying to fool us with his illogical explanations for the Bills' recent poor play and stop pretending he's coaching a Super Bowl contender.'

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09/08 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
09/15 Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm
09/22 @ New York Jets 4:25 pm
09/29 Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
10/03 @ Cleveland Browns 8:25 pm
10/13 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/20 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
10/27 @ New Orleans Saints 1:00 pm
11/03 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
11/10 @ Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 pm
11/17 New York Jets 1:00 pm
12/01 Atlanta Falcons (Tor) 4:05 pm
12/08 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm
12/15 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm
12/22 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
12/29 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm

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